PHOENIX — A Valley non-profit has come up with a creative idea to help check someone off your shopping list and at the same time, help the homeless and county budget.
Circle the City uses donations and grants to run two respite centers, multiple outpatient clinics and a couple mobile medical units.
The respite centers work like long-term care facilities for the homeless, with no insurance required.
Medical director Dr. Jenna Hami says it’s a life-saver for people who would otherwise be released from the hospital back onto the street to try to recover from injuries or chronic conditions.
“Not having to worry about that, having hot meals here, having a roof over your head, having nurses around the clock that will take care of you…that makes them happy,” Dr. Hami said.
She adds the most common injuries are related to foot care, not having proper shoes and diabetic foot ulcers that can lead to bone infections that go untreated because the homeless don’t often have a way to store insulin.
“How can you get off your feet if your main method of transportation is walking?” Dr. Hami asked.
By giving people a place to recover until they are fully healthy, she says they cut down on repeat emergency room visits, often by those who are uninsured. According to a study, the respite centers save Maricopa County $4.7 million a year as a result.
Circle the City also goes a step further and while in recovery, social workers help connect patients to benefits, prosthetics and long-term housing solutions for when they are discharged.
As for the fundraiser, since clean socks are a hot commodity for the homeless, Circle the City used that idea to launch its “Rock Your Socks” campaign. They’ve designed socks with the city landscape and helping hands are selling them, with the money going to support their programs.
They estimate the cost per patient, per day at the respite center is $300.
To purchase socks, click here.